Taiwan News: APEC Summit to Launch CPTPP Bid, Money Laundering Report Due

Taiwan News: APEC Summit to Launch CPTPP Bid, Money Laundering Report Due
Credit: Reuters / TPG
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Minister without Portfolio John Deng (鄧振中) said Tuesday that Taiwan will be using this year's APEC summit as a platform to seek support for its bid to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.

According to Deng, arrangements are being made for members of Taiwan's delegation to hold bilateral talks with representatives from countries that are currently members of the regional trade bloc.

National Development Council Minister Chen Mei-ling (陳美伶) is now in Papua New Guinea for the APEC ministers meeting and says the delegation will try to lobby representatives at every opportunity on the sidelines of the summit.

Negotiators from the 11 signatories to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership agreed in July to start accession talks with potential new members next year, when the free trade pact is scheduled to go into effect.

Thailand, Indonesia, Columbia, and South Korea are also reportedly seeking to join the trade bloc.

Taiwan's delegation to the APEC summit is being headed by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing founder Morris Chang (張忠謀).

Meanwhile, a newspaper in Papua New Guinea has been left red-faced ahead of this weekend's APEC summit in Port Moresby after it attributed a front-page photograph of China's President Xi Jinping to the embassy of the "Republic of China."

The photograph was published alongside an article signed by Xi titled "Set Sail on a New Voyage for Relations Between China and Pacific Island Countries."

The National also ran a photograph of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) – listing her as the APEC representative for "Chinese Taipei."

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The Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering will issue its preliminary report this Friday on anti-money laundering practices in Taiwan.

The regional monitoring group wrapped up its two-week evaluation on Wednesday.

According to the Cabinet, the review process looked into Mega Bank, Chunghwa Post Office, the Agricultural Bank of Taiwan, and seven other financial institutions as well as three accounting firms and two law firms.

The team also visited the Ministry of Justice's Anti-Money Laundering Division.

The Cabinet said the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering will submit a draft evaluation report on Friday and authorities will then be allowed to address any issues listed in the report.

Authorities will also have an opportunity to get higher evaluation marks by providing new evidence during a face-to-face meeting in March of next year before a final report is issued.

Taiwan's financial regulators have indicated that they are waiting for a clean bill of health from the review before proceeding with issuing regulations on new areas of finance such as cryptocurrencies and token offerings.

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Credit: Reuters / TPG
Pro-democracy protesters carry a photo of detained Taiwanese rights activist Lee Ming-Che (L) and other activists during a demonstration in Hong Kong, China Sept. 11, 2017.

China's Taiwan Affairs Office has said it will continue to make arrangements for the family of Taiwanese democracy activist Lee Ming-che (李明哲) to visit him in jail.

The statement comes after Lee's wife, Lee Qing-yu (李凈瑜) told reporters last week that Chinese authorities have denied two requests to visit her husband.

Lee also said that no reasons were given for the denial of the request for visitation rights.

A Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman said Lee has now been was transferred back to Chishan Prison in Hunan, and prison authorities are handling visitation rights for his family in accordance with the law.

Lee's wife visited her husband in March, May, June, July and again September, but her visitation rights have been denied twice since October.

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A pro-Taiwan UK lawmaker has said the British government has informed him that it is in talks with other countries regarding Taiwan's bid to attend the Interpol General Assembly as an observer.

Lawmaker Philip Hollobone said he asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department on Nov. 6 whether the government will support Taiwan's observer status at the 87th Interpol General Assembly, which takes place in Dubai next week.

The Conservative Party's Hollobone said he received a reply earlier this week in which the UK government said it "continues to hold the view that the people of Taiwan have a meaningful contribution to make towards global issues such as organized crime."

Criminal Investigation Bureau Commissioner Tsai Tsan-po (蔡蒼柏) sent a letter to Interpol in September requesting Taiwan be allowed to attend the summit as an observer.

However, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced last month that Interpol had officially rejected that request.

Taiwan's Representative to the UK David Lin (林永樂) is expressing his thanks to the British government for its assistance in promoting the island's participation in international organizations.

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Defense Minister Yen De-fa (嚴德發) there are no signs the U.S. will stage a military drill in the South China Sea in the near future.

The statement comes weeks after CNN reported Washington is planning a show of strength in the region sometime this month.

Speaking at a legislative hearing, Yen said the defense ministry is closely monitoring the situation.

However, the defense minister went on to say the U.S. does not inform Taiwan of its upcoming military deployments beforehand, but his office continues to respect the principles being defended by the United States.

CNN reported on Oct. 4 that the U.S. is planning to conduct freedom of navigation operations in the Taiwan Strait and South China Sea over several days in November.

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Credit: Reuters / TPG
U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan conducts military drills during Keen Sword, a joint field-training exercise involving U.S. military, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force personnel and Royal Canadian Navy, at sea Nov. 3, 2018.

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The Civil Aeronautics Administration says one of three AW-169 air ambulance helicopters operated by Emerald Pacific Airlines has developed mechanical problems and will undergo a full maintenance check.

The European Aviation Safety Agency issued an airworthiness directive on Oct. 27 following an accident in Leicester, England and it requested operator's of the helicopters inspect the tail rotors.

Emerald Pacific took delivery of three new AW-169s on lease earlier this year.

Civil aviation authorities say safety inspections of all three helicopters revealed an abnormality in a hydraulic server of one of the AW-169s.

Emerald Pacific began using the helicopters to carry out emergency medevac services to residents of Penghu and Matsu in August.

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Oceanic Beverages has been fined NT$1 million (US$32,400) for violating food safety regulations after consumers reported falling ill after drinking the company's popular Apple Sidra.

The New Taipei Department of Health said the company failed to promptly recall the product after receiving 122 complaints from consumers from July to September.

And the company also violated the Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation for failing to report the problem to the relevant authorities.

Oceanic Beverages didn't recall the drink until September, by which time over two million two-liter size bottles of the drink had been sold.

The company said the problem was limited to the 2-liter plastic bottles of Apple Sidra.

The fines come after tests found the drink had been contaminated on the production line due to faulty equipment.

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The 2018 Open Doors Report shows that the number of Taiwanese students enrolled in U.S, colleges and universities has increased for the third consecutive year.

The report for the 2017-2018 academic year shows a rise of 4.4 percent from the previous year.

According to the U.S. report, a total of 22,454 Taiwanese students were enrolled in higher education institutions in America for the 2017-2018 academic year.

The figure makes Taiwan the seventh largest source of international students in the U.S. for a fourth straight year.

Just over 41 percent of the Taiwanese students in the U.S. were enrolled in graduate studies, while 31 percent were undergraduates and 20-per cent were participating in Optional Practical Training programs.

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Kinmen's Dadan Island will officially open as a tourist destination in March 2019.

The decision comes after a recent review of a trial opening of tourism to the 0.79-square-kilometer island, which ran from July to October.

Kinmen County's Department of Tourism said Dadan Island was opened to visitors for 59 days during that period, it drew 3,061 people and saw the outlying island take-in an additional NT$4.9 million in revenue.

Authorities said that once the island is opened to tourists, 300 visitors will be allowed to visit per day.

However, Chinese nationals will not be permitted to travel to the island during the initial stages of its opening to tourism.

Dadan was heavily bombed by China during on Aug. 23, 1958, with more than Chinese 100,000 shells hitting the island.

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Hon Hai founder and chairman Terry Guo is Taiwan's richest man this year, despite a 23 percent contraction in his fortune over the past year.

According to Forbes Magazine, Guo's net worth for 2018 stands at US$7.3 billion.

The Ting Hsin International Group's Wei brothers ranked second this year, with assets totaling NT$7.2 billion.

And they were followed by Cathay Group chairman Tsai Hong-tu (蔡宏圖) in third place, who is worth NT$7.1 billion.

Last year's number one on the Taiwan rich list, Daniel and Richard Tsai of the Fubon Group slipped to fourth place, with family assets estimated at NT$5.7 billion.

No women made the Taiwan top 10 in the Forbes rich list this year.

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This news bulletin was provided courtesy of International Community Radio Taipei (ICRT), Taiwan’s leading English-language broadcaster.

Editor: David Green (@DavidPeterGreen)

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